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To all horse buyers who complain they can't find anything ... PULEEZE!

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  • #41
    Well, it kinda IS, MB. Let's take a ferinstance. You're looking for a pleasure trail horse. CALL the breeder closest to you ...
    Actually, if I'm looking for a good pleasure horse for trails/family members/visitors my first looking spot is getting the word out to about 25 people in my area. Including my farrier, vet, hay guy, a few other hay growers I know, a few boarding barn owners, the 3 local feed store owners and two local tack shops owners. Because they're the ones that are going to know of all the horses for sale or coming up for sale soon in my area.
    If I'm looking for a personal horse for myself and I really want ____ or ____ breed...I'll start looking through breeders first and also putting the word out to the locals just in case there's one around for sale that I don't know about. A last resort for me would be an online site or magazine. I don't have any problems going to breeders but I do have to agree with those who have stated that breeders are a business of sellers...they do breed but the purpose for breeding is to sell their stock. And they *need* to put as much effort into the sales side of the business as they do the breeding their "products." Updated websites, magazine ads, word of mouth, etc. I also agree that I think breeders aren't frequented enough by buyers...I do think more people should have breeders as one of their first considerations for many horse purchases. However if someone is looking for a show ready or at least not green broke horse I can understand them going to a sales barn/magazine ads/where ever. The general assumption I think most horse buyers have of breeders is that they're selling foals, yearlings...possibly right up to "ready to starts" or "just started under saddles." That isn't the place many will think of first for a ready to ride/non-greenie horse. Although a savvy buyer will still call local breeders and ask them if they know of any suitable riding horses (not green) for sale because the breeders may know which if their previous customers might be ready to sell something they bred years earlier. I do know I recheck certain breeders' sites IF those sites have sales horses listed from previous customers years earlier. I think it only benefits breeders to have a second sales section on their sites that have other barns/customers horses for sale that aren't young stock. As an example the first one I can think of off the top of my head is JG Appaloosas...on their site I can look at their own horses/young stock for sale or I can check out older/ready to ride horses that were previously bred at their place or I can check out links to other breeding/sales barns that have broodies or previous stock of theirs. I'm not limited to looking at only the 2008 foal crop and whatever left overs they have from the previous year.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte

    Comment


    • #42
      Originally posted by tmo0hul View Post

      It is almost July 2008 now - right? Really - not trying to be mean, but let's be honest - that's a while back (and if you click on the "more information" link that is where you see the 2005 information). .
      I have to agree...when the last "news" or "updates" are more than a few months old you gotta wonder if a place is serious about...<whatever>...they are doing...better to leave it off totally...

      and I guess I can't talk about it at all as ALL of my horses/cobs and whatever are off our site and have been for weeks....the hay business is just too big for us now and there is just not any time or room for it on the site itself...but maybe I'll pop up another one before long....

      best
      Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
      I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

      Comment


      • #43
        C'mon guys: Sometimes it's because they want something specific and can afford/are willing to wait until the "right" horse comes along.

        We've been looking for a year and half for a horse for a friend of mine and the one that came closest to fitting the bill didn't vet. Sigh.

        [edit]

        She is MAYBE going to look at one in New Mexico. You would think we could find what she wants in California, but so far, no luck.
        Last edited by Moderator 1; Jun. 28, 2008, 10:44 PM. Reason: removed specifics

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #44
          Originally posted by Whisper
          I'd assumed that it wouldn't make any sense to contact breeders, unless they specifically were advertising a horse who did fit my needs.

          I guess they could still have a good in on what other people might have, but I'd feel like I was wasting their time.
          I don't think there is a breeder on this board—with one or two exceptions maybe—that wouldn't be happy to chat, especially if you come right out and say what you said above. I do not think reputable breeders EVER discourage contact, as long as you're telling the truth about what you're looking for. I have had very long conversations,...and perhaps the breeders I've spoken to want to shoot me and have just been too polite to say so ( gee, I hope not!!!)

          I think the two things that breeders are MOST interested in, as I've said before, is first, a long-term home SAFE home for their kids. A home where the new owner will get the horse out into the show ring.
          "For God hates utterly
          The bray of bragging tongues."
          Sophocles, Antigone Spoken by the Leader of the Chorus of Theban Elders

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #45
            Originally posted by Sandy M View Post
            Everything we've looked at (and she wants a specific breed) is either

            (a) too young and green;
            (b) too old (like late teens early 20s);
            (c) outrageously expensive ($15,000 trail horse? No.);
            (d) undesirable conformation; or... and she IS willing to travel a bit to look, but not TOO far:
            (e) VERY far away.
            Ok, I'm going to use this as an example.

            FIRST, too young and green. SOME horses, that would be a problem. OTHERS, although green, they could be appropriate. Just because someone says "5 year old" or "4 year old" should not automatically cross him/her off your list. It depends ...

            Too old: tough call. Please don't forget that Brentina was/is competing at 17+.

            Outrageously expensive...no, you don't need a $15,000 trail horse. UNLESS you look at it as an investment that will appreciate. And THAT is very very risky.

            Conformation: you are not going to find a perfect horse, for ANY price. PERIOD. There is no such thing. I would suggest that conformation and individual unique problems is directly related to price, but not always.

            Very far away: Germany? Or in the US, opposite coast?
            "For God hates utterly
            The bray of bragging tongues."
            Sophocles, Antigone Spoken by the Leader of the Chorus of Theban Elders

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #46
              Originally posted by GansMyMan View Post
              And I'm pretty shy about asking right off the bat for a cheapie or payment plan.
              IMHO, that's a mistake. This is not personal, it's BUSINESS. I would much rather take a note from someone that I believed was going to give my horse a lifetime home, as opposed to someone that could plunk down $15,000.

              By not asking, by not offering, by not discussing you limit yourself AND you don't give the breeder a chance. The breeder can always say "No", you know. But if your references are as good as you say they are, I cannot believe there is a breeder that wouldn't at least LISTEN to you!!!

              Originally posted by Tiki View Post
              But Gans, if you have paid $10,000 in vet bills (over time) there are breeders willing to take payments with good references. Never be afraid to call a breeder. I may not have what you want, but I have a friend who has 2 horses - perhaps more in your price range - that are very well trained and ready to go. She can only support so many - she's a trainer, not a breeder - and gets given horses sometimes that have problems that she trains out of them. They're safe and sound. Also, I, or another breeder, may have just what you want and be willing to take payments or work something out. Call us. We don't bite - well, most of us - I guess a few do, but not all of us.
              EXACTLY!!!! Please, folks, this is the message that needs to be sent to everyone!!! If you call a breeder the worst thing that can happen is ... NOTHING!! And that's right where you are now.
              "For God hates utterly
              The bray of bragging tongues."
              Sophocles, Antigone Spoken by the Leader of the Chorus of Theban Elders

              Comment


              • #47
                Originally posted by Cherry View Post

                I read a lot of the stuff posted on this board and I will never understand running all over the country looking for "the" horse when, most likely, there is a horse down the road that would fit the bill! Most people just don't want to take the time to ferret out those horses. I'm always mystified when I read the "I can't find a horse" threads--irrespective of the price!!!!! Heck, where I am I can't swing a cat by the tail without hitting at least several dozen horses for sale at all times of the year!!!! I can't believe ya'll can't find a horse!!!!!!
                I have to agree with the statement above. I think a lot of people freeze up when buying "the" horse and have a list of requirements/expectations that are unrealistic. It's kind of like people who can't find the right house. I've always figured that you don't have to live in your house forever, and buying a horse is a bit like that. There are some people who do have very specific requirements because they are competing at a certain level and know what they need to be competitive. For the rest of us, I believe that there are plenty of nice horses out there, many of them close to home.

                When I bought my Trakehner gelding (now 12 years ago!) I was looking for "the horse." I wanted a horse to event up to Training level and to have the movement to be competitive in dressage. I probably looked at 25 horses, saw 4-5 that interested me, and had two vetted before I bought my boy. I travelled to three states. Yes, I am very happy with him. I paid $6500 for him which was a bargain as his owner was in financial distress. I would happily buy another Trakehner, but only if the breeder was local.

                Several years ago I wanted a project horse so I went on line, decided I would drive a maximum of one hour. The first horse I looked at was a total waste of time. The second horse was fairly represented, a good price and attractive. I realized I could spend months driving around and looking, so I bought her. I guess because I wasn't holding her up to be "the horse" I didn't stress over it. I paid $4000 for her and flipped her for a few thousand more. She was a very nice horse that just needed some polishing.

                My current "project horse" was adopted from CANTER NE. I picked him up sight unseen to foster him and still have him three years later. I would never have bought him based on his initial appearance but he's also blossomed. Once again, because he didn't have to live up to my expectations, he's continued to pleasantly surprise me.

                I guess my point is that it's easy to get fixated on some ideal. I doubt that I'll ever do a multi-state tour to find another horse but will continue to look and buy locally.
                Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                Comment


                • #48
                  I just bought a horse, and honestly hadn't been looking at breeders since my price range was lower than most breeders (understandably) want for thier going 3-4yos. I was in "OTTB with some retraining" or BYB budget, not "nice youngster" price range.

                  I *happened* to come across an ad for a well bred 3yo on a local breeding farm (they also stand the stallion), who was just outside my price range but less than what I'd expect to pay due to some circumstances. We went and saw her, did some negotiating, and she came home on Wednesday
                  "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #49
                    Originally posted by Ibex View Post
                    I *happened* to come across an ad for a well bred 3yo on a local breeding farm (they also stand the stallion), who was just outside my price range but less than what I'd expect to pay due to some circumstances. We went and saw her, did some negotiating, and she came home on Wednesday
                    HURRAY!!!!!!

                    Folks, for everyone reading/lurking ... this is what is possible. Please give your local breeders at least a CHANCE to respond. You may come up with zero ... but you may not.

                    Call, be upfront about what you're looking for, be honest about your price AND your ability ... you never know where the "trail" will lead ...
                    "For God hates utterly
                    The bray of bragging tongues."
                    Sophocles, Antigone Spoken by the Leader of the Chorus of Theban Elders

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      This thread is an eye-opener. Here's my honest opinion, and I'm sorry if it offends anyone.

                      Horse selling in Europe is very professional. In the US, not so much so I can't believe some of you expect a prospective buyer to "guess" at what you really want for a horse that's "over priced" (and, yes, if you can't sell it, it's over priced ) It's not my style to offer 50% of the asking price Nor will I fly out to look at horses that are supposedly u/s when I can't get a riding video. Any why would you send me a riding video that's a year old and tell me the horse has progressed in leaps and bounds since then? So where is the new video?

                      If you market horses professionally and honestly, and price them realistically, they will sell. The nice horses are out there. The problem for the buyer is sifting through all the other ads to find them

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        I have to say tho, the ONLY reason I looked was because the breeder had dropped the price in the ad and been upfront with the reasons. There is no way I would call a breeder knowing that I could only offer 50-60% of asking price, especially when my issue wasn't that I didn't think the horses were worth that much, I just didn't have that much in my horse shopping fund.

                        I'd say work with someone who has connections with the local breeders - often they'll have the full scoop on what's available, and where you may be able to negotiate.
                        "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          (a) too young and green;
                          (b) too old (like late teens early 20s);
                          (c) outrageously expensive ($15,000 trail horse? No.);
                          (d) undesirable conformation; or... and she IS willing to travel a bit to look, but not TOO far:
                          (e) VERY far away.
                          I've had the same issues shopping...although I don't mind young and green...many sellers equate nucking futs with green. A bigger issue I've found is old and green. Not really old as in geriatric...but no way in hell should a horse over the age of 5-6 be green as grass. I don't expect it to be 3rd level dressage or ave auto swaps or anything of the sort. But at those ages the horse should be ridden at w/t/c, be steer-able and have a decent enough whoa. On the ground it better clip, load and stand for vet and farrier. For the life of me I can NOT figure out the many, many sellers who have an 8, 10, 12 year old greenie.
                          Many buyers might not want young and green because if you're showing...young and green translates to (whole crapload of time and money for the chance it might turn out showable." Green can be a huge gamble...and if you're paying board at a show barn and then training rates on top of that...youo can easily double or even triple the price of that young green horse by the time it's young and showable.
                          As for too old...if a person is showing and the horse is a BTDT campaigner...then a late teens to early twenties horse might be a match. But even then there is still a lot to look at in the cost department... more maintanance and also it will be retiring soon. It will not have much (if any) resale value so the new owner is looking at a forever horse with retirement costs.
                          A $15,000 trail horse I would *hope* would only be for a "breed du jour" animal. Trail horses aren't investments. Very few horses are investments, even the best of the best tend to injure themselves on things like a salt block.
                          I agree...no such thing as a perfectly conformed horse. But I'd buy a donkaloosa before I'd buy anything back at the knee. I also will not consider a horse with a straight shoulder and a couple other conformation faults that just don't equal a long-term possibility of staying sound or that equal a really rough ride. There *are* conformation faults I do like though...I'm a sucker for a big headed/roman nosed horse.
                          Location...unless I'm looking for a very specific animal for a very specific purpose...I am not going through the cost and inconvenience of travel. Sure there are many people who will happily toodle away to see a horse 6-8-10 hours away. Not me. I enjoy long car rides as much as I'd enjoy having Captain Hook as my gyno.

                          However...I do see the issues breeders have. I definitely do prefer to shop from breeders. I don't think good breeders get the business they should. Even the good breeders with good business sense who promote well aren't usually the first choice with horse shoppers and they're probably the best ones to start with. If they don't have what you want...dollars to donuts they know who does.
                          I would love to see more breeders keeping up their websites like big horse dealers do though. After all, a good breeder treats their business like a business and that's as a horse dealer that just happens to make their own product. Websites should be professional looking, everything spelled correctly and have the info the buyers are looking for. Confo shot, movement shot, a short video clip link (yes, even of foals since you can tell movement on a foal too) and both parents confo shots and show records. And the price...put the freaking prices up. Yes, I know young stock prices fluctuate often...but that's why you need to keep updating your websites to reflect changes. I am not going to call anywhere that doesn't list prices at all. Ever. For any reason. And not because I'm worried the price will be too high. For certain animals I'll gladly pay what they're worth. The reason I (and many other folks) will NOT call anyone who doesn't list some prices is because
                          1) There is NO other business that operates without listing prices and I expect my horse purhcase to be as professionally handled as my car purchase, house purchase or even a t-shirt purchase. Not listing prices is extremely unprofessional. I do not deal with people who run a business with their hearts and not their heads.
                          2) I'm very familiar with the Commission Games. I don't play them. If you broker or co-broke commissions (and everyone should because it's part of the business) then advertise that somewhere on your site and put the darned price up. I don't want to call on a horse and be asked what price I'mlooking for and suddenly have horses rise up to that price range. I don't shop with a trainer...I don't expect to have to deal with the Commission Game price fluctuations. Not saying people aren't listing prices because of the commission issues but that's going to be one of the first thoughts I have if the price isn't listed.
                          Just my two cents.
                          You jump in the saddle,
                          Hold onto the bridle!
                          Jump in the line!
                          ...Belefonte

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            I totally second what MistyBlue says...you go girl! I have to agree that I would not offer a breeder 50% less than their asking price. If a seller is willing to drop the price by that much they should just mark it down on their ads. I wasn't even looking at horses very far above my price range. I also stopped do business by phone because it was a waste of time. I usually didn't get called back, but people almost always responed to emails.

                            When shopping for a trail horse I stopped looking at local breeders for several reasons:
                            the prices listed were way outside my limited 3-5K budget; the horses listed were advertized as green or "needs finishing" or "project horse"; they would say specifically in the ad that they were looking to sell to a show home. I would have loved to snap out an awesome horse at a great price but that just doesn't happen that often. I do wish I had seen this thread earlier...
                            Last edited by jnel; Jun. 27, 2008, 12:23 PM. Reason: clairfication

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              Originally posted by MistyBlue View Post

                              I would love to see more breeders keeping up their websites like big horse dealers do though. After all, a good breeder treats their business like a business and that's as a horse dealer that just happens to make their own product. Websites should be professional looking, everything spelled correctly and have the info the buyers are looking for. Confo shot, movement shot, a short video clip link (yes, even of foals since you can tell movement on a foal too) and both parents confo shots and show records.

                              And the price...put the freaking prices up. Yes, I know young stock prices fluctuate often...but that's why you need to keep updating your websites to reflect changes. I am not going to call anywhere that doesn't list prices at all. Ever. For any reason. And not because I'm worried the price will be too high. For certain animals I'll gladly pay what they're worth. The reason I (and many other folks) will NOT call anyone who doesn't list some prices is because
                              1) There is NO other business that operates without listing prices and I expect my horse purhcase to be as professionally handled as my car purchase, house purchase or even a t-shirt purchase. Not listing prices is extremely unprofessional. I do not deal with people who run a business with their hearts and not their heads.
                              AMEN!

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #55
                                Originally posted by jnel View Post
                                I totally second what MistyBlue says...you go girl!

                                I have to agree that I would not offer a breeder 50% less than their asking price. If a seller is willing to drop the price by that much they should just mark it down on their ads.
                                Misty made some great points ... I'll address them below. jnel, re the 50% remark...again, don't be too hasty on that point. YOU DO NOT KNOW THE BREEDER'S CIRCUMSTANCES.

                                Look, let me put it in very clear terms: I have bred TWO foals myself. Well, three. But the one of them doesn't count. I currently have the third one for sale—and don't PM me as I won't sell it to you it's against CoTH rules that's not why I'm using this example. My price is extraordinarily flexible by thousands of dollars. WHY? Look at the threads on off course about neglected/abused/starved horses. I have NIGHTMARES about this. If a horse that won the Kentucky Derby can end up at slaughter, so can anything I breed. I would also suggest to you that I am not alone on this issue...while I can't GIVE away my foal, depending upon the buyer, I would be very flexible.

                                BUT, very important, unless you contact the breeder, you're never going to know who/what/where/when/why. Now, I don't want to say that every breeder is like me...heck no!!! All breeders have different motivations, I think. AND, of course, there are many unscrupulous breeders, just like there are many dishonest people. But I would be willing to bet you'll get a squarer deal from a breeder than from anyone else.

                                I do see the issues breeders have. I definitely do prefer to shop from breeders. I don't think good breeders get the business they should. Even the good breeders with good business sense who promote well aren't usually the first choice with horse shoppers and they're probably the best ones to start with. If they don't have what you want...dollars to donuts they know who does.
                                I keep on saying this...Misty I'm glad you get it ...! Maybe others will get it too.

                                Horse selling in Europe is very professional. In the US, not so much so I can't believe some of you expect a prospective buyer to "guess" at what you really want for a horse that's "over priced" (and, yes, if you can't sell it, it's over priced )
                                With apologies to Forrest Gump: Professional is as professional does.

                                I have never run into a more professional breeder than MaryLou at Home Again Farm. And while I don't know Seigi B personally, I think you'd be hard pressed to find someone more professional. That argument, Spoilsport, does not hold water. I have never had to guess at a horse's price...dealing with a breeder.

                                And, no, if you can't sell it it doesn't mean it's over priced. Sorry. There can be a dozen reasons why a particular horse hasn't sold ... everything from, yes, overpriced to poor marketing to inaccessibility of the farm—all kinds of reasons.
                                "For God hates utterly
                                The bray of bragging tongues."
                                Sophocles, Antigone Spoken by the Leader of the Chorus of Theban Elders

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  I completely agree with MistyBlue about prices. I want to see accurate prices before I waste everyone's time calling. Put on your website. Maybe we will stop assuming you want $20k plus for every baby and start calling.

                                  And --this is a generic comment, not directed toward breeders but sellers in general -- please, if you don't list prices, do not ask me what my budget is. That is a sure sign that your horse will be at the high end of it when you do price him to me. Just tell me what you want for it.

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                                  • #57
                                    Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
                                    I completely agree with MistyBlue about prices. I want to see accurate prices before I waste everyone's time calling. Put on your website. Maybe we will stop assuming you want $20k plus for every baby and start calling.

                                    And --this is a generic comment, not directed toward breeders but sellers in general -- please, if you don't list prices, do not ask me what my budget is. That is a sure sign that your horse will be at the high end of it when you do price him to me. Just tell me what you want for it.



                                    The breeder I bought from had clearly listed what she wanted for the mare, which is the **ONLY** reason I went to look. I'm not going to be one of these people that insults a breeder by offering 1/2 what the horse is actually worth (note I said "worth", not asking price!). The breeder I worked with is pretty realistic about her pricing, and seems to be selling a fair number of horses.
                                    "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

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                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
                                      I completely agree with MistyBlue about prices. I want to see accurate prices before I waste everyone's time calling. Put on your website. Maybe we will stop assuming you want $20k plus for every baby and start calling.

                                      And --this is a generic comment, not directed toward breeders but sellers in general -- please, if you don't list prices, do not ask me what my budget is. That is a sure sign that your horse will be at the high end of it when you do price him to me. Just tell me what you want for it.

                                      Says it all.

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                                      • #59
                                        There are many threads from sellers...

                                        (including breeders) as well as buyers on this website that 'vent' about the other.

                                        Unfortunately from my perspective the comments from sellers have stuck with me often have been at odds with your very kind outlook, Oldenberg Mom.

                                        The comments that I have read and been swayed negatively by complain of low offers regularly and go on to explain why the prices they are advertising are fair and the folks offering less are just 'tire kickers' or want something for nothing or don't understand and appreciate bloodlines etc. Those very posts are why I would never call about a horse very far above my price point -- and actually hesitant to call any breeder/seller I don't know personally and prefer the word of mouth through my vet/farrier/friends approach.

                                        In fact all the venting on both sides has prevented me from pursuing a new horse for the last year and a half though I have wanted to get another since losing my old gelding leaving my other retired gelding without a pasturemate.

                                        And I give very good 'home' and bought my last horse under the same circumstances --- having lost an old retiree I had had for 21 years and wanting a young rideable pasturemate for my young mare. I bought her from a breeder I know after hearing about her by word of mouth. For the breeder a good home was paramount and he sold her to me specifically because he knew I would provide that. But even knowing that going in I still bought the horse at only slighly less than the asking price and would not have presumed to offer any less.

                                        And totally agree with the desire that the price be clearly stated.

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                                        • Original Poster

                                          #60
                                          In fact all the venting on both sides has prevented me from pursuing a new horse for the last year and a half though I have wanted to get another since losing my old gelding leaving my other retired gelding without a pasturemate.
                                          Please don't give up because of a few difficult people on a BB.

                                          If you'd like to PM me, I'd be happy to recommend a breeder or two (I don't know what state you're in!) that might be able to help ... and in fact, would probably be very kind and might be able to advise you. The fact that you can give a good home (any references??) could be very compelling reason to dicker.

                                          Or take a look at the CoTH breeder's list ... you can surely check out their posts here on CoTH and see if you like what they've written!
                                          Last edited by Oldenburg Mom; Jun. 30, 2008, 06:47 AM. Reason: to correct there to their ... because I should have known better. *sigh*
                                          "For God hates utterly
                                          The bray of bragging tongues."
                                          Sophocles, Antigone Spoken by the Leader of the Chorus of Theban Elders

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